I am exploring whether blogging can be considered a skillful means for mindful communication for academic credit. I am deeply curious about that, but I am also interested in understanding how best to use my own blog.
I am interested in communicating about radiant refuges and their many benefits. To me, the place in the photo above has that potential. As a graduate student in mindfulness studies, I came to think of mindfulness as the ultimate radiant refuge. Mindfulness reduces suffering while increasing wisdom and compassion and its stillness goes with you for when you need it most.
I tend to be optimistic and would like to think that blogging might be used as a form of radiant refuge, but I also have reasons for concern. After reading several books on blogging and encountering red flags, the word “vigilance” came to mind for good reason, I think.
There appear to be a great many fascinating interacting factors to consider. Like the salt marsh ecosystem in the photo, dramatic shifts to the landscape seem possible. For example, bloggers could move to social media platforms as I read is already beginning to happen.
There are certain considerations that always apply to effective communication regardless of the means used. For example, an understanding of one’s audience may be challenging at times for bloggers, but it still matters. In addition, blogging might be right for some writers/ subjects/ purposes/ times but not for others.
I plan to start by developing good working definitions for “blogging,” “skillful means,” and “mindful communication.” As I continue reading what researchers, and experts have to say, I will be on a mission to identify relevant factors that can help me answer the question I am addressing. I plan to use posts in the “Is blogging mindful” category as workspace for particular topics related to my investigation.
Once I have gathered sufficient evidence regarding key factors, and analyzed their combined impact, I will present and defend my conclusion regarding whether or not (or under what circumstances) blogging as it exists today can be considered a skillful means for mindful communication. I suspect that some of what I have to say will apply to other forms of communication that rely on the Internet.
Besides helping me to decide whether to use my blog as more than a place to record my reflections for my own benefit, other personal goals include becoming a more discerning reader of blogs, and gaining practical experience with them.